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Congressman Jimmy Panetta is dedicated to public service and proudly serves California’s 20th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes Monterey and San Benito Counties, and parts of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. First elected 2016, he is serving his third term in Congress. He currently serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the House Committee on Agriculture, and the House Committee on Armed Services. He also serves as a Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic Majority and on the powerful House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Having grown up on the central coast of California, Congressman Panetta understands the importance of giving back to the community and country that gave him and his family so much. He was instilled with a sense of public service and its importance to our democracy, and has made sure that his work is reflective of the values of the people who entrusted him to be their voice in our nation’s capital.
During his time in Congress, he has fought for immigration reform, the continued protection of our pristine coastline and environment, affordable and accessible health care, to ensure that our agriculture industry and its farmers and farmworkers are taken care of, to reduce gun violence, for our military installations which are an integral part in our community and our country’s national security, and for our veterans to receive the benefits that they were promised and deserve. Through policy implementation in Congress and service to constituents, he remains committed to being that bridge for the people of the Central Coast to the federal government and its resources.
Prior to being sworn in Congress, Congressman Panetta served his community as a deputy district attorney for Monterey County, which includes the city of Salinas. In this role, he prosecuted violent gang members to pursue justice for victims, protect families and make communities safer.
In 2007, Congressman Panetta volunteered for active duty and was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He worked with Special Forces units and as a result of his meritorious service in a combat zone, Congressman Panetta was awarded the Bronze Star. Upon returning home, he served as a board member of the Veterans Transition Center where he focused on ending veterans’ homelessness and improving resources for his fellow veterans and their families. He was also instrumental in the opening of Monterey County’s first Veterans Treatment Court to ensure veterans receive the services they earned. Moreover, he worked with local leaders and veterans to establish the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery on the former Fort Ord. He was honored to be named a Monterey County Veteran of the Year in 2015.
Growing up in Monterey County, Congressman Panetta attended Monterey Peninsula College and the local public schools. He graduated from the University of California at Davis with an undergraduate degree in International Relations and earned his law degree from Santa Clara University. His wife, Carrie McIntyre Panetta, is a Superior Court judge in Monterey County, and they have two daughters, Siri and Gia.